"Therefore Comfort One Another With These Words"..


 The Last Trump

by Jamma of Rapture Watch


 [This teaching is about] the teaching of the blessed catching up to Heaven descriptively referred to by Christian as the "Rapture." The word "Rapture" comes from the Latin word "rapare" which means to "take away" or "snatch out." Webster's College Edition New World Dictionary defines the word "rapture" as "the state of being carried away with joy, love (or) ecstasy and a carrying away, or being carried away in body or spirit."

Our scriptural validation for the assurance that one day every true believer in Jesus Christ (whether among the dead or living) will be caught up into the heavens to be with their Lord can be found in Titus 2:13 - 14, 1 Corinthians 15:49 - 54 & 1 Thessalonians 4:14 - 18. Quoting from these passages from God's Word we read, "Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works.. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed , In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: For the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory.. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

There are essentially 4 common views held as to the timing of this glorious event. They are each determined by their placement in time in relationship to the promised final 7 years often referred to as the Tribulation Period.

Post-Trib. places this event at the close of the seven years. Pre-Wrath places it shortly after the middle. Mid-Trib. places it in the middle and Pre-Trib. anticipates the Rapture will happen before the final seven year countdown begins.

Almost all proponents of these views agree the Tribulation is very near. Opponents to the Pre-Trib. Rapture view claim that this teaching instills an attitude of escapism in believers and that it undermines the need for believers to prepare for the Tribulation Period. To the contrary, the Pre-Tribulation's reply is that Scripture, in fact, encourages Christians to anticipate an escape from the coming days of tribulation, "For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:35-36).

Whether a tribulaton saint or an unbeliever, according to Revelation 13:7 any preparation for the Tribulation apart from salvation in Jesus Christ is futile, "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."

To try and physically prepare for the Tribulation is uncalled for in the Scriptures. Jesus stated that the truth of the matter is that not one soul will be left alive at the end of the Tribulation if He Himself does not return and stop the horrendous evil and destruction which will be sweeping the planet (Matthew 24:22)

Another concern expressed by opponents to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching is that if the Rapture does not take place before the Tribulation begins, believers will lose their faith. We do not believe thougtful consideration supports this objection. To postulate that Bible believers who might witness the awesome events prophesied in Scripture for the Tribulation Period will suddenly discard their faith in Jesus Christ at the start of the Tribulation is irrational.

It is nonsensical to envision a believer saying, "The Anti-Christ has arrived, the seven year covenant is confirmed, the Temple is being rebuilt and two prophets have stopped the rain and are calling down fire from heaven, so I don't believe the Bible anymore." This idea is unrealistic surmising and is not taught in God's Word. According to Scripture those who fall away are only manifested phonies who were never true believers to begin with, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." (1 John 2:18 - 19).

Our view is that since the Tribulation Period has not yet begun (as it is to be verified by the strengthening of the seven year covenant prophesied of in Daniel 9:27) and the closeness of this time is evident by continual attempts to finalize a treaty with Israel; then the Pre-Trib. Rapture teaching will either be proven or disproved in the very near future. "And he shall confirm the covenant with the many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:27).

We have not met one Christian who is even remotely prepared to physically survive the Tribulation. Pre-Tribulation opponents who admit they are unprepared express their hope in the same so-called escapism they condemn, that is, the return of Christ to save them.

As far as being prepared spiritually in these last days, the same saving faith in Jesus Christ that a believer cherishes at present to carry Him through life's heartaches and to face the challenges of death, is the same unchangeable faith which will strengthen a believer through any time of tribulation. A true believer's strength does not lie in views of the Rapture's timing, but in their belief in the glorious unyielding promises of their Redeemer and the indwelling of His Spirit.

This is the moment to put your complete trust in the Risen Savior Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the world and by His blood has purshased eternal life for all who believe in Him.

Go to your Prayer of Salvation which describes your condition and helps you correct it right then and there.

Part II

There are 4 basic views of the timing of the removal of the Church from the earth. This event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:48-55 is commonly referred to by believers as the "Rapture."

Some believe the Rapture will take place before the start of the prophesied final seven year Tribulation Period revealed in Daniel 9:27, these believers are known as Pre-Tribulationists. Others believe it will happen at some time during the Tribulation Period. These believers hold to positions called Mid-Trib or else Pre-Wrath.

Then lastly is the position that the catching up of believers will not take place until the close of the Tribulation as Christ is descending to the earth to destroy the wicked, this is known as Post-Trib.

Until proven otherwise by the Church entering the final seven year Tribulation Period, we at "Rapture Watch" believe it is scriptural to devote our faith to the expectancy inherent in the Pre-Tribulation position. To ignore the significant corroboration the Scriptures present for this teaching of the imminency of the Blessed Hope is unwise in our opinion and casts an unwarranted shadow of fear regarding the Lord's plan for His Church during the approaching time of tribulation and wrath.

One commonly used argument against the Pre-Trib position originates from the Rapture Scripture found in 1 Corinthians 15:52. The Scripture reads, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


"PreTrib opponents say this "last trump" must be the same on that the seventh Angel blows during the latter part of the Tribulation Period as is recorded in Revelation 10:7 since this is the last trumpet mentioned as being blown in the Book of Revelation.

Inexplicably, Pre-Trib opponents discount any significance to the fact that the "angelic" seventh trumpet of Revelation 10:7 is not the last supernatural trumpet which will ever be blown. Isaiah 27:13 describes what will take place after Jesus Christ has returned to the earth. The time frame presented is after the Tribulation has concluded and Christ has begun His Millennial Reign.

It is during this time that a supernatural trumpet will be heard throughout the lands. Quoting we read, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the Holy Mount at Jerusalem."

The Scripture, along with Zechariah 9:14 which tells of the Lord blowing another trumpet at His return, provide substantial clarification regarding the timing of the Rapture. First it verifies that the Last Trumpet spoken of at the Rapture in 1 Thessalonian 4:16 is a uniquely designated trumpet appointed for the Church and refutes the Mid-Trib teachings that there are no other trumpets blown after the angelic tribulation trumpet of Revelation 10:7. This is conclusive by the trumpets of Zechariah 9 & Isaiah 27 being blown at the close and after the Tribulaton - thus after the angelic seventh trumpet of Revelation 10:7.

With loving respect for our fellow believers in Christ who adhere to the Post-Trib Rapture theory, Isaiah 27:13 & Zechariah 9:14 also adequately narrows the field of debate as to the timing of the Rapture by eliminating the Post-Trib position. This is shown by the Isaiah 27:13 statement about the people who "were ready to perish."

The mention of the fact that these people were about to perish verifies that they will be mortals. The central question of importance is, who are these mortals?

According to Post-Trib adherents, when Jesus Christ returns with His saints (see Revelation 19:14 & Jude 1:14-15) they believe the Church will have been caught up to join the Lord for warfare as He is descending from Heaven to do battle at Armageddon. Their belief is that there is no time allowance for any reunion or celebration between the Church and the Lord, but are changed into their glorious celesstial bodies while enroute to the bloodiest war in history. For a brief moment the Lord's trumpet blast prophesied of in Zechariah 9:14 would appear to support this.

Here the problem arises with the unknown mortals of Isaiah 27:12 - 13. We kow already by Isaiah that these mortals who were ready to perish are believers in the Lord because they are going up to Jerusalem during the Millennium to worship Him. So our first revelation from Scripture is that these people living during the earthly rule of Christ are mortal believers who for some reason were not caught up to meet Christ and glorified with immortal bodies at His coming.

Secondly, if these people had been unbelievers at Christ's coming with His Saints, according to Revelation 13:7 - 8 they would have had to be destroyed as followers of the Anti-Christ. Speaking of this man of sin and his followers we read, "And it was given unto him to make war with the [tribulation] saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 19:20,21 states without reservation that the Anti-Christ and all his followers are destroyed at Christ's coming. John 3:18 makes this situation of unbelievers at Christ's coming quite plain.

The conclusion is logical and inescapable. Since there are mortal believers left alive during Christ's reign who were not glorified at Christ's coming they cannot be members of the entity known as the Church and no Rapture of the Church will take place at the close of the Tribulation Period. The saint-filled Church which is seen returning with Christ at His coming at Armageddon in Revelation 19 could only have been Raptured some time earlier then the Post-Trib teaching proposes.

As to who the mortal Millennium believers are who were about to perish, these are those who became believers after the Rapture took place and the resurrected Old Testament saints. These are the Tribulation saints which had to survive the murderous pursuit of the Anti-Christ described in Revelation 13:7 and the Old Testament saints who were promised an earthly inheritance. That is why they are not Raptured and glorified at Christ's coming. The Rapture had already taken place. These are the same surviving and resurrected believers who repopulate the planet under Christ's reign as is revealed to us in such passages as Zechariah 8:3 - 5.

Additional scriptural proof for this prophetic summary is abundant. The initial gathering together of all the wicked for destruction at Christ's coming with His Saints can be verified by the scriptural passages found in Matthew 13:30, 38 - 42 & 49 - 50 & 24:38 - 41. Then the subsequent preserving and gathering together of the remaining mortal believers with a trumpet after His return is taught in Matthew 24:22 & 29 - 31.

It is worthwhile for prophecy students to more thoroughly explore Zechariah 9:14 where we are told of the one other time than 1 Corinthians 15:22 when God will blow His trumpet. As we have shared, the time of this trumpet blast is at the close of the Great Tribulation. Chapters 9 & 10 of Zechariah read in context fully disqualifies the idea that this is the trumpet of the Rapture because believers are not changed into glorified beings, but instead are anointed upon the earth as great warriors.

They do not return with the Lord from Heaven, but are aided from Heaven. Clearly these are mortal believers who, after the Lord returns, will thrive as mortals in the land of Israel. Zechariah 10:8 - 10 further reveals that these are the same mortals who in Isaiah 27:13 were about the perish in the lands of Assyria and Egypt.

The passage in Zechariah 9:14 prophesies that the day of this trumpet blast is the same day of the Lord's return. If any juncture in all of history there should be a Post-Trib Rapture of the living this should have been it, but there is none. The unbelievers are gathered and destroyed while the believers remain mortals on the earth to fight conquer, regather, thrive and reproduce.

The last trumpet of 1 Corinthian 15:52 had to have taken place at some point earlier in time. If not, then it would be impossible to find any mortals left to repopulate the millennial earth; everyone would have been immortalized or destroyed at Christ's return at Armageddon.

Revelation 11:15 & 12:10 reveal that the trumpet blast of Revelation 10:7 declares the end of Satan's position of authority over the earth from the heavens.

In conclusion, the Scriptures offer no support in any manner to the teaching that the trumpet of the seventh Angel in Revelation 10:7 is the same as the trumpet of God blown at the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4 & 1 Corinthians 15. It is simply presented as the last of seven angelic trumpets blown in a sequence as God releases His wrath upon a Christ-rejected world, just as there have been and will be other heavenly trumpet blasts to signal the end (or beginning) of some other eventful occasion.

The only question which remains critical at this point is, are you ready for the Last Trump which will signal the close of the Church Age and the glorification and gathering together of the body of Christ? Be sure right now by putting your faith in Jesus Christ who paid the full penalty for the sins of the world by shedding His own precious blood at the cross. Your trust in Him alone for your salvation can assure your receipt of this blessed atonement, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

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